Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Back to work

All my own work (ok so its not!)

Finally on the last 2 days of my stay in Perth I got round to some actual conservation work. I did try to get in touch with the local conservation volunteers the previous week but I was told that their project was full. I was, however able to put my name down for doing some work on Mon and Tue of this week.

So at 8am I was collected from the meeting point just around the corner from my hostel and off I went to start saving the world again. Our team leader Ruth took me, A Korean guy, a retired Aussi and an English guy to a small dune nature reserve down south of Perth which seemed to be in the centre of an industrial estate. We then spent the morning weeding out an invasive species called Geraldton Carnation. There was bloody lots of the stuff! By the end of the day we had filled about 30-40 bags worth of it and still had not made much of a dent!

At 2pm it was time to go - as with most volunteering you only really do half a days work with several tea breaks and a long lunch thrown in for good measure.

The next day I was put with another group - mostly Korean and our team leader this time was a Columbian called Fernando - a very funny guy who tried to persuade me to go to Columbia as part of my South American trip and to also learn to Tango in Buenos Aires!

Again we went to a coastal sand dune reserve but this time we were dealing with another species called white broom. As this stuff had tap roots of over 3m straight down there was no way we were going to be able to pull it out. Instead we cut off the branches and sprayed some poison on the cut stems. There was an awful lot less of this than we thought and we easily dealt with it by lunch. That meant that after lunch we ended up doing the usual conservation fallback - litter picking!

Well in the two days I didn't exactly save the planet but I did get a lot of info from the volunteers about other places I am going - namely New Zealand and South America. I also realised that if you want to find out places to go and things to do at a local level then these are the people to talk to. Unfortunately for Perth it came too late but now that I am in Sydney I am already in touch with the local group to see what is happening so fingers crossed I can do some proper stuff here.

bobtail Lizard found in sand dunes

A flower for the lady readers

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